Six months and 2,430 games later, we have our 10 surviving teams. While I'd like to say I predicted all 10 of these teams to make the playoffs -- that's my story as long as nobody looks back at what I wrote in March -- the playoffs are a new start.
Pitching rotations in the playoffs are, for all intents and purposes, a callback to days before the five-man rotation became standard during the regular season. Three- and four-man rotations, or a mix of the two depending on off days, becomes de rigueur during the postseason. What this means is that individual starting pitchers frequently end up throwing a far larger percentage of their team's innings in the postseason than during the regular season, making each pitcher more important, relatively speaking.
10. Minnesota Twins
While the days of the Twins stubbornly clinging to the idea of eschewing strikeouts and focusing on pitching-to-contact have finally passed -- far after nearly every team in the baseball moved to a more modern mindset -- the Twins haven't completely built their core rotation yet.
Ervin Santana had a solid 3.28 ERA this season, but a FIP of 4.46, suggesting he's not actually the ace of the Twins. That would be Jose Berrios with a 3.89 ERA and 3.84 FIP. Santana has a history of outperforming his peripherals by a bit, but we're talking about a quarter-of-a-run, not a gulf this massive.
After Santana, the quality drops off quite a bit; Adalberto Mejia is raw and doesn't go deep into games, Kyle Gibson is a homer-prone inning-eater at best, and while I love me some Bartolo Colon (and have that Big Sexy t-shirt to prove it), it's really hard to count on him in 2017.